Sunday September 11, 2016

Photographer asks 300 people: what is your definition of love?

Angela Fama: 'It's like I jumped down the rabbit hole'. 0:53

Listen 15:50

When Angela Fama set out on a roadtrip for her latest art project called What Is Love, she never expected it would turn her world upside down.  

Fama converted her 1977 motor-home into a traveling photo studio and headed off across North America. She travelled 17,000 kilometres and stopped in 20 cities and towns along the way. At each location, Fama would invite people into her studio to take their photos and ask them "What is your definition of love? What does love mean to you?"

More than 300 people considered and answered her question, and Fama documented their often surprising responses in photographs and audio recordings.

At age 30, Fama suffered a brain injury. As she was healing, she had no filters between her thoughts and her actions. 

"What I shared with people was really sincere and what I noticed at that time was like 'Oh, I'm freaking people out."

That experience made Fama realize just how much we normally hide from the world - and from ourselves.

Her 'What Is Love' project was a way to help people get past their own filters and to honestly consider what love has meant to them.

The whole experience came at a hefty cost. Fama lost her life-savings, her home and her partner. What she gained was a deeper understanding of life and love.

"I did come out with some pretty amazing realizations I think, and one of the biggest is that there is no answer. It's always changing."